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(en) anarkismo.net: It is the basic trade unionism ... - Greece by Iliadis Alexandros

Date Fri, 11 Jun 2021 08:10:28 +0300

We must finally overcome our insecurities and not be afraid to deal seriously and methodically with - what we say - petitions and some issues. We do not betray our political ideology in this way, let us be quiet about it. It is through the struggles for exactly these, the demands and the some issues, that one may (perhaps) manage, pressing on the shoulders of his immediate interests, to look at a wider horizon that will go far beyond them. . Anarchism, in the end, is about exploring ways in which this perspective will finally take on flesh and blood. ---- It is the basic trade unionism, comrades ??? ---- I will not repeat here what is known about the tragic situation of the working class, both because of the rapid and escalating attack it receives in the years of crisis from the bosses, and because of the sad incompetence to respond fundamentally to this attack. The most recent scene of this drama, which unfolds before our eyes in recent days with the anti-labor bill-monster of Hatzidakis, unfortunately comes to seal the most pessimistic assessments on the subject.

Taking the above as a given, I will go directly to what interests me here, that is, to the -in my opinion always- critical, serious inadequacy, which characterizes the role and presence of the anarchist / anti-authoritarian space in the efforts to organize the class resistors. The proposal to gradually alleviate this deficit has already been "revealed" in the title of the text. And while of course it is not recommended as a panacea, I do not see a way in which it will not be the most basic choice in case we want to deal seriously, and without fruitless ideological entanglements, with ways of intensifying the class struggle.

Admittedly, from December '08 onwards, a significant portion of the a / a space increasingly consistently included in its political agenda issues that go beyond the purely ideological sphere (traditionally limited to the repression and persecution of anarchists by the state but also in militant antifascism) touching on wider social issues. At the same time, it adopted forms of organization and intervention that were clearly less entrenched in political identity. All this in the wake of the unexpected realization that took place during the December uprising, that, as a culture of perception and struggle, it had a much greater influence in the social field than it had ever dared to imagine.

In the conditions of aggravation of the economic crisis, to the above came - fortunately! - to add the class analysis and the recognition of the central importance of the capital-labor opposition for the organization of all the power relations that are intertwined within the society. A perspective that until then, was treated phobically by almost the entire a / a space, mainly for historical reasons. Although the class analysis was present from the genuflections of the classical anarchist theory, the modern anarchist movement in Greece largely went from the reaction, both to the increasingly explicit capitulation of the local left to the bourgeois regime during the post-regime period, and to ossified physiognomy, a logical consequence of the drainage of racing juices caused by its bureaucratization. To the above was added the -very superficial- complete identification of Marxism and Stalinism, and all this together, resulted in anything that referred to trade unionism and "workers", to provoke an allergic reaction. However, as we have already said, this has gradually begun to change due to the new environment that shaped the outbreak of the global financial crisis and the debt crisis in Greece.

In traditional Marxist terms - but which we do not adopt - we would say that anarchist culture rather began to develop mainly in the realm of "superstructure" as a cultural subculture, and gradually maturing, its roots managed to deepen to the point of "base" (something that in itself is a serious indication of the genuine racing vein that animates it).

But it is at this point that the deficit mentioned above begins to become apparent. We find, probably without difficulty, that so far we have not been able to have a substantial presence in the workplace that would require both the time and the prioritization on our part of the class issue. While the issue of labor has been included in our political analysis in rhetorical and theoretical terms, it has not been raised at all satisfactorily in practical and militant terms. In short, our roots have not yet deepened enough to reach where the heart of the capitalist system beats: in the productive process, in our workplaces.

Activist interventions with corresponding goals, although useful and necessary, can in no case be considered sufficient. Certainly the effort to connect in the consciousness of the society of the a / a space with labor issues (persecution of trade unionists, labor "accidents", employers' arbitrariness, etc.) is of great importance and could only be evaluated as positive. But it is easy to understand that this course of action is not the easiest to assimilate by the majority of employees who want to react to their devaluation. And, in fact, even if this were to happen, in the end it would not even be an effective way of fighting, due to the -from the beginning- upgraded intensity and the total lack of institutional form (it could only concern very specific situations, when all other means of pressure would have failed, but first, they had been tested). Also, again we can safely say that, activism from the outside is not able to mobilize processes of collectivization within a workplace and seems to be mainly exhausted on a symbolic level, something not insignificant, but, at the same time, not sufficient (although reporting an issue can very often be important, rarely proves decisive).

In short, while we are obviously the flesh of the working class, and while we want to believe that we are the most advanced part of its struggle, it seems that we are so trapped within our political "organization" (or with the narrow , or with the expanded flag of the word) which, in the end, we have come to act and think - and therefore, obviously, to look like - standing outside the field in which the class struggle is really taking place. And this is a serious problem for us, both as anarchists and as workers.

It is rather easily seen that we suffer greatly from the inability to balance both momentum and organization, as well as between the political and social spheres. Let us say briefly that the first is the field of ideological formation (eg anarchist), while the second is the field of social relations which we intentionally or unintentionally reproduce (eg worker, student) three). Out of fear of being absorbed by the social field, thus losing our ideological characteristics, we are entrenched in our political identity, which thus ends up being the field of a "self-realization" that, very easily and quickly, can end up being self-referential and barren. And, in addition, fearing that there will be something that will limit this space of our "self-fulfillment",

Again, in my opinion, it is the lack of relationship and balance between impetus and organization on the one hand, and between the political and social field on the other, that leads to the pool of our militancy.

Unable to organize ourselves adequately in the political field, we are unable to cultivate and maintain our momentum, and we end up mainly invoking it or recalling it, as if it were some "natural phenomenon" with unknown and mysterious horizons. Unable to effectively organize the relationship and balance between the political and social spheres, we are often left to look at the social from the outside with a mixture of hope and snobbery, while in the rare moments of intensification of social struggles (or have we played a role in it the sharpening or not), we end up being allowed to be carried away by their "randomness".

Due to a lack of organization, usually neither the political space manages to capitalize on its promotional and supporting role in the development of social struggles so that it can form better conditions for the future, nor are structures and relations created in the social field to preserve and plow some part of competitiveness when the wave of any games recedes - and always recedes - in order to also form better conditions for the future.

Significantly, almost every time, we find ourselves starting from almost zero and almost every time, we find ourselves ending up almost again. As if we are living the day of the marmot one thing...

If we face an immediate challenge, it is probably our political organizational upgrade to enable us to strengthen our momentum and militancy, precisely because it will be fed back by the methodical contact between the political and social spheres. Allowing both fields to have their meeting and fusion points, with unpredictable obviously - and fortunately! - results mainly in race conditions, but also their points of distinction, where these results can be crystallized and evaluated. Without one field absorbing and canceling the other, without one boxing camouflaged and with an invisible agenda inside the other, but also not being distinguished by caesarean section.

The common places, the points of contact and fusion of these fields, will allow the social field to come into real, empirical contact with the anarchist / anti-authoritarian ideas and practices, but also the political, to be grounded in the reality of the needs of the social struggles, and see in the end, what to keep, what to leave and what to change from his theory and practice. Not to serve the social, nor to be served by it, but so that the politician can define a way that will allow him to reflect on the truth of its essence, which is nothing more than the creation of more and more capable conditions. within society, for the realization of the social - and not the political - revolution.

Returning to the initial deficit, I think it is a matter of vital importance that the militant proposal of creation and organization in grassroots unions but also in general in disorganized and direct democratic class and social groups (student groups, neighborhood assemblies, initiatives against nature destruction + LGBT) etc. to escape from the rhetorical sphere of slogans that is largely present until now, and more and more intensively to be grounded immediately, becoming an integral part of the culture of the anarchist / anti-authoritarian political space.

This now, in order to really make sense and not just become a blank form of content, must be done in terms that will allow the independence and the meeting of the two fields mentioned above. It will not make sense e.g. to form grassroots unions that will have VAT and articles of association, but otherwise will function essentially as a political affiliation group, and in order to be able to exist in them, they will have to share common political views (... or even a common style and aesthetics). Apart from some basic minimums, such as anti-racism and anti-sexism (which, among other things, are also conditions for class unification) as long as one wants to defend one's labor interests in terms of solidarity and horizontality,

As difficult and ungrateful as the work of an ant is on labor issues with our colleagues, with whom we may not meet anywhere politically, it must be done and in fact done correctly, done in an organized way, done methodically - as in vain and if it looks at first glance! Step by step, day by day. Let us digest the fact that there is no other way to cultivate and organize the class resistance, nor is it possible to cut a path and get directly to the struggles, the strikes, the conflicts. What to do! (Allow me a fairly personal comment on this point: I do not stick my tail out, in almost any of the above...).

Of course, creating a grassroots union is not always possible, especially in sectors where bureaucratic trade unionism has completely prevailed. There, obviously, the thing becomes more complicated than we described above and the formation of initiatives and frontal groups within the already existing unions could, depending of course on the circumstances, be a competitive choice. However, the possibility of an institutional form is of great importance and should not be underestimated by us due to ideological entanglements. It is an important advantage in our workplace intervention, because it gives us the legal possibility, from being able to defend a colleague in his / her labor claim against his / her boss, to calling for stops or strikes when we deem it appropriate. Also,

The institutional form, then, is not a fetish, nor is it obviously a guarantor of militancy. It is a base that gives us more favorable conditions for intervention and assertion, and precisely because the massification and intensification of the struggle is the purpose, if we reach the point where this form will now act as a deterrent, we must have the reflexes and maturity. to expand it, to transcend it or even to break it. But for this to really make sense, it must be the product and moment of a real moving class / social struggle. A real need and not an ideological imperative.

The model according to which we sit on the tops of political purity waiting for the social wave to inflate to meet us and surf on it, is not functional, if not for any other reason, at least, because it is not essentially competitive. The question is both how we will cultivate the ground for the next class / social struggles, and how we will function effectively and promotionally within them, when and if they break out. If we do not organize the relationship between class / social and political pole, but also our substantial, methodical and stable intervention within the fields of class / social competition, the class / social struggle will not evolve either,

This, after all, seems to be the most feasible way, issues of key importance in the present - and not only - period such as the anti-war, the anti-sexist / anti-patriarchal, the anti-racist / anti-fascist etc. to be raised and embraced by larger sections of the social base, precisely as parts of the defense of its interests. But, no matter how useful and necessary the wider social forms are, if there is no competitive root in the productive process itself, in the workplace, in the basic point on which -unfortunately- our very survival depends and in the basic point on which the capitalist system is reproduced, no matter how much work we do in all other fields, no matter how much self-reduction we achieve, we will not be able to replace this deficit.

The whole grid of social relations that intertwines at the cultural level around the anarchist / anti-authoritarian space has always been a very basic and life-giving part of it. And it is very important that this "sociability" - permeated by values and relations of solidarity, horizontality, freedom against the domination of the commodity and power - be maintained and expanded as much as possible. But in order for this not to end up being just a bubble, an island of humanity in an inhuman environment, these social relations that develop in and around struggles, in turn, must re-enter the field of class / social competition. to sharpen it. Otherwise, as we said above, they will fatally stagnate and lose their vitality.

We must finally overcome our insecurities and not be afraid to deal seriously and methodically with - what we say - petitions and some issues. We do not betray our political ideology in this way, let us be quiet about it. It is through the struggles for exactly these, the demands and the some issues, that one may (perhaps) manage, pressing on the shoulders of his immediate interests, to look at a wider horizon that will go far beyond them. . Anarchism, in the end, is about exploring ways in which this perspective will finally take on flesh and blood.

If we are to lose anyway, at least let this happen because the proposal of organization and struggle of the social base that we bring, will become so dangerous for the state and capital, that it will eventually lead them to flatten us definitively. And not to lose, because we did not dare enough to do what we say ourselves.

At least that.

Iliadis Alexandros

May 2021

* Republished from here: https://www.alerta.gr/archives/18470
Related Link: https://www.alerta.gr

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